Amanda Scott was excited to learn her daughter, 11-year-old Tateana Marcelin, was a Make-A-Wish recipient. At the same time, she recalls feeling sad and depressed.
"She was still so sick when I found out about it," said Scott. "It was maybe six months after her diagnosis."
On Feb. 10, 2017, the Alexandria fifth-grader was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia, otherwise known as ALL. After a long battle and plenty of time spent in the hospital, Tateana is finally doing better and on the road to recovery. Her last chemo treatment is scheduled for sometime in June, said her mom.
And her daughter's Make-A-Wish trip finally happened.
During a reveal party in January at Arrowwood Resort in Alexandria, the family was filled in on the plans for their trip. Tateana got to choose the location.
"She wanted to go to Florida and Disney World, specifically Harry Potter," Scott said.
When asked why she chose Disney World, Tateana said, "Because I like Harry Potter."
Scott learned that numerous family members and friends nominated her daughter for the trip, and she was very appreciative of their nomination.
The family stayed at Give Kids The World Village, a nonprofit resort that provides weeklong, cost-free vacations to children with critical illnesses and their families.
"Everything was paid for and we received gift cards for spending purposes," said Scott. "It was quite a trip."
While in Florida last month, Scott said the family - which includes Tateana's two sisters, Anastasia, 8, and Anajreana, 13, along with the girls' dad, Becken, and his fiance, Elizabeth - all went to Disney World and Harry Potter World. They even received VIP tickets for all the rides, which allowed them to skip the long lines. The family also visited Sea World.
"I was really happy," said Tateana. "I enjoyed it. It was fun."
Although she enjoyed all of the rides and the parks and the pools at the resort where they stayed, the best part of the trip for Tateana was seeing her dad, who lives in Florida.
She also mentioned that Universal Studios was her favorite park and although she loved the Harry Potter ride, her favorite was the Incredible Hulk ride.
It was also Tateana's first time seeing palm trees, and she thought they were "really pretty."
Her mom said the girls all got tired pretty fast but everyone enjoyed themselves. And they were all very thankful and grateful for the opportunity.
Tateana's diagnosis came only two months after her mom was severely burned after a fire that tore through their townhome.
Scott explained that Tateana was sick with what she thought was Influenza A. Once the bloodwork came back, it was determined that the girl, who was 8 years old at the time, had leukemia. She was rushed to Children's Hospital in Minneapolis, where she spent nearly a month. Since that time, Tateana has spent a lot of time in the hospital.
Scott knew something was wrong with her little girl, but never expected that it would be cancer. She said Tateana was so sick, but is now doing much better. They are excited that she is nearing the end of her treatment, which is in June.
Scott said her daughter did not need a bone marrow transplant and that the chemo treatments seemed to do the trick. Tateana is "in maintenance," she said, and is doing wonderfully.
Did you know?
From the Make-A-Wish Minnesota website:
• Make-A-Wish Minnesota grants a wish, on average, every 27 hours.
• Every wish experience is driven by the wish kid's interests, creativity and personality.
• To qualify for a wish, a child with a life-threatening medical condition must be older than two-and-a-half years and younger than 18 (at the time of referral) and must not have received a wish from another wish-granting organization.
• A child can be referred by a parent or guardian, a medical professional, or by the child.
• Following referral, a certified medical professional must verify that the child has a life-threatening medical condition. There are no other qualifications based on sex, race, religion, socioeconomic status or any other demographic category.
• Make-A-Wish Minnesota serves every community throughout the state of Minnesota and has more than 700 active volunteers throughout the state.
• Make-A-Wish Minnesota needs more than 75 million frequent flier miles to meet all of the travel needs for Minnesota wish kids and their families as nearly 70 percent of wish experiences involve travel.
• The Walt Disney Company is involved in 40 percent of the wishes Make-A-Wish grants.
For more information about Make-A-Wish Minnesota, visit the website at www.mn.wish.org.